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5 Trivial Pursuit Worthy Facts About Actors Equity Association

Actors Equity Association was founded in 1913 and represents actors and stage managers across the United States. Here are a couple of facts that will probably only help you out in an obscure trivial pursuit game!


Outer Structure

1. The structure of Actor’s Equity is a little more complex than you would think. In early 2013, AEA received its directly affiliated charter with the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations).  In addition, AEA is a branch of the Associated Actors & Artistes of America (4A’s) Federation, which includes the other “like-minded” unions: AGMA, AGVA, SAG-AFTRA, GIAA, and HAU (defunct). In turn, 4A’s is also a member of AFL-CIO, which is an umbrella federation of 56 other unions. Through their affiliation with the 4A’s, these unions are part of the AFL-CIO.  However, only AEA and SAG-AFTRA have directly affiliated charters.

Inner Structure

2. AEA is broken up into 3 regions: eastern, central, and western. Altogether, AEA employs over 125 people. The eastern office, located in New York City, is also the home of the headquarters. The western office is located in Los Angeles and the central office is located in Chicago. There is also a satellite office in Orlando, FL which is mainly responsible for the Walt Disney World bargaining agreement and is considered part of the eastern region office.


3. AEA requires an initial fee of $1,100 to join. Once you are a member, you are required to pay $59 per half year, $118 per year, to maintain your status. In addition, there is a working due of 2.25%. This means you must contribute 2.25% of every check to Equity, up to a max of $6,750/year. Per AEA’s 2013 Department of Labor report, from dates 04/01/2012 to 03/31/2013, the total amount of due’s collected was $15,279,633.


4. According to the 2013 report AEA filed with the DOL, there are a total of 42,522 members in the union. Of these 42,522 plus members, 38,620 members are active. Interestingly enough, there is a separate line item for the amount of equity members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL: 323. There is a pretty good chance that The Walt Disney Company, between Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts and indirectly through Disney Theatrical Group, may, at any one time, employ more AEA members than any other organization.

Political Activities

5. In the 2013 DOL report, Actors Equity reported that $91,269 was spent on political activities and lobbying from 04/01/2012 to 03/31/2013. AEA is required to show what percentage of time each officer and employee spent on these political activities every year in this report. It can be viewed on the Department of Labor Website. AEA does not apportion any money towards political campaigns or campaigns for public office.  However, AEA does advocate for funding for the arts and for the NEA.


Department of Labor

Actors Equity Association


By Zachary K Miller

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